Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.
The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore. Heaven may encore the bird who laid an egg. If the human being conceives and brings forth a human child instead of bringing forth a fish, or a bat, or a griffin, the reason may not be that we are fixed in an animal fate without life or purpose. It may be that our little tragedy has touched the gods, that they admire it from their starry galleries, and that at the end of every human drama man is called again and again before the curtain. Repetition may go on for millions of years, by mere choice, and at any instant it may stop. Man may stand on the earth generation after generation, and yet each birth be
his positively last appearance.
I have often observed that extremely violent noise and activity go with good-fellowship and heightened spirits.’”― from “The Letter of Marque (Vol. Book 12) (Aubrey/Maturin Novels)”
Could it be for selfish reasons perhaps?
The straightest path to happiness is devoting ourselves to the happiness of others.
If you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. And the LORD will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. ISAIAH 58: 10-11, NASB
Alcorn, Randy. Happiness (p. 291). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
I found this article while surfing the internet. Reading Wars by Philip Yancey. It reminded me of a recommendation for a book called The Shallows. What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, but I have been too busy reading articles and following click bait to read it. Now I can blame being busy on packing as the root of all evil. But having all of that admitted, I do think I should spend more time reading. I hope my sons are reading this article. I have written it short so they will not click away before they get to the end unless hopefully they follow the first link above. 😉 The first paragraph of Philip Yancey’s article is below to get a sense of what he communicates.
Books help define who I am. They have ushered me on a journey of faith, have introduced me to the wonders of science and the natural world, have informed me about issues such as justice and race. More, they have been a source of delight and adventure and beauty, opening windows to a reality I would not otherwise know.
My crisis consists in the fact that I am describing my past, not my present.
We leave for Africa in 6 days and we are running out of space in our suitcases!
“Virtue is what happens when someone has made a thousand small choices requiring effort and concentration to do something which is good and right, but which doesn’t come naturally. And then, on the thousand and first time, when it really matters, they find that they do what’s required automatically. Virtue is what happens when wise and courageous choices become second nature.” – N.T. Wright
I got the quote from an article in Christianity Today Magazine titled “Can You Control Yourself“. It was worth the read, and you might find it interesting, although it may take a subscription to read it.
“. . . learning to love takes practice, and practice takes repetition.”
from You Are What You Love – The Spiritual Power of Habit by James K. A. Smith
The following excerpts are taken from You Are What You Love – The Spiritual Power of Habit by James K. A. Smith.
Our actions and behavior – indeed, a whole way of life – are pulled out of us by this attraction to some vision of the good life.
If our loves can be disordered by secular liturgies, it’s also true that our loves need to be reordered (recalibrated) by counter liturgies – embodied, communal practices that are “loaded” with the gospel and indexed to God and his kingdom.
From the book Happiness by Randy Alcorn in the chapter titled We Find Lasting Happiness in God: A Closer Look at the Hebrew Word Asher. It is not as dry as it sounds!
Those who worship the Lord and obey his commands are happy.
People who live by God’s wisdom are happy.
People who turn to God and partake of him are happy.
God’s redeemed are happy people.
Those pardoned by God are happy.
God promises happiness for righteous acts and attitudes.
Those who are kind to the needy find happiness.
Happy people follow the spiritual guidance of their godly parents.
Those who know the one true God are a happy people.
““the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart.””
The Road to Character by David Brooks